James Arthur is a British singer and musician who won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. His debut single, Impossible, was released after the final and debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart on 16 December 2012 in its first week of release.
Since 2005, and prior to his participation in The X Factor, he was a vocalist and guitarist in a number of bands, and later, as a solo artist as well as forming his own The James Arthur Band and James Arthur Project.
Arthur was born in Middlesbrough, England to English mother Shirley Ashworth and Scottish father Neil Arthur. James’ father was a delivery driver, but also used to be a DJ and a drummer for many years. Arthur’s parents split when he was just two-years-old and each settled with a new partner. Neil and Shirley were not on talking terms with each other for more than twenty years. But they agreed to attend the show together in a family reunion to attend their son’s performance.
Arthur first went to Ings Farm Primary School in Redcar, North Yorkshire. When he was nine, he moved with his mother Shirley and his step father Ronald Rafferty to Bahrain where he studied at the local British School of Bahrain for four years. When they split, Arthur, then 14, had to move back with his mother and his two half-sisters Jasmine and Neve to the UK to live in a modest house in Saltburn-by-the-Sea.Upon his return, he continued his studies at Redcar’s Rye Hills School.
Arthur has five siblings, an older brother called Neil Arthur, an older sister called Sian Arthur, and three younger sisters, Charlotte Arthur and Jasmin and Neve Rafferty.